A media release from the Ministry of Health said the items included medical N95 masks, isolation gowns, gloves, eye-protective equipment and thermometres.
Chairman of the Tortola stationed bank Carson Wen, said with the advent of supplies becoming rarer as COVID-19 continues to impact economies across the globe, it was only fitting that the bank assists the BVI in getting some well-needed items.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is now a global crisis. Medical supplies have become very difficult to source as the export has been banned by many countries facing the spread of COVID-19 domestically,” Wen said.
“Bank of Asia has worked hard to find these materials of donation. The first shipment of masks has arrived in the BVI and the remainder will follow in coordination with the Government of the Virgin Islands,” he added.
Jack Ma, Asia’s richest man, pledged 1.8 million face masks and 210,000 coronavirus test kits to some of the continent’s poorest nations, the latest step from his foundation to push back against what’s become a global pandemic.
Ma also promised to ship 2 million masks, 400,000 test kits and other aid to 24 Latin American countries. “We will hurry,” he said in a tweet.
The Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder took to Twitter for the first time on Monday to announce that the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation were sending a donation of emergency supplies to the U.S. Having previously aided virus-fighting efforts in Japan, Iran and Italy, his philanthropic groups also sent thousands of testing kits and masks to countries in Africa.
On Saturday, Ma said that Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Laos, the Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka would all receive protective suits, ventilators and thermometers. On Sunday, he said 104 ventilators will be sent to Latin America, helping efforts in countries like Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador and Peru.
Global shortages of essential medical and protective equipment have affected even the most developed economies, with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo saying more “ventilators, ventilators, ventilators” were needed to help his state handle the anticipated number of infected people needing treatment.
Meanwhile, Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Carvin Malone thanked Bank of Asia for the donation and urged residents to continue to practice the instructed sanitary measures daily to help contain the spread of the virus.
He said: “We advised you to wipe surfaces, wash your hands, use hand sanitizers, avoid touching your face, cough in your folded elbow and if you use disposable napkins you have to apply the one-use theory and throw out and use another.”
Minister Malone further advised residents to self-quarantine within their homes if they begin to show any symptoms related to COVID-19.
To date, the BVI has three confirmed cases and 143 persons of interest who are self-quarantined at home.
There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: those who are afraid to try and those who are afraid you will succeed.